- Screening Methods
- Average Risk
- Intermediate Risk
- High Risk
- After Reconstruction
Here are breast cancer screening guidelines for women by risk level.
What are the best screening methods for detecting breast cancer?
- Mammogram: Mammograms are the best screening method for detecting breast cancer. Mammography is a type of medical imaging technique that uses low-dose X-rays to examine the inside of the breasts for detecting cancer.
- MRI: Breast MRI images are captured using magnetic and radio waves. Because a breast MRI may show abnormal findings (false positive results) even when they are normal in women at a high risk of breast cancer, it is not used in women who are at average risk.
- Clinical examination: During a clinical examination, a doctor or nurse palpates the breast with their hands or fingers to check for any swelling or lumps.
- Self-exam: Regularly examining your own breasts allows you to become familiar with your breasts and notice any lumps, pain, or any changes in size.
Breast cancer screening guidelines for women at average risk
Guidelines for breast cancer screening in women at average risk are as follows:
- Seek the opinion of a doctor before going for screening tests. Talk to your doctor about the proper screening tests for you.
- It is recommended to undergo a clinical exam of the breasts every 3 years from the age of 20, and it is recommended to undergo a clinical exam of the breast every year from the age of 40.
- Screening tests are recommended in healthy women who are expected to live for another 10 years.
Breast cancer screening guidelines for women at intermediate risk
Guidelines for breast cancer screening in women at intermediate risk are as follows:
- Starting at age 20, you should start to perform regular self-exams to become familiar with your breasts and be aware of any changes.
- From the age of 25, a clinical breast examination should be done every 6 months.
- It is recommended to get a routine mammogram done every year.
- If you have dense breasts, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound, a contrast mammogram, or an MRI to screen for breast cancer.
Breast cancer screening guidelines for women at high risk of breast cancer
Guidelines for breast cancer screening in women at high risk are as follows:
- From the age of 20, a clinical breast examination should be done every 6 months.
- Mammograms or 3D tomosynthesis are recommended to be done every year. Start before 10 years of youngest age when a blood relative is diagnosed with cancer. It is advised not to start before age 25.
- It is recommended to undergo an MRI every year and an alternate mammogram every 6 months.
- If you receive radiation treatments, you can have an MRI, tomosynthesis, and mammogram all at once or every 6 months. Breast cancer screenings can be done 8 years after the last radiation treatment.
Breast cancer screening guidelines for breast cancer screening after reconstruction
Breast reconstruction is done to reshape breasts that have been surgically removed (mastectomy or lumpectomy) as a part of cancer treatment. Some use silicone or saline implants, and some use flap tissue from the body.
Breast cancer screenings can be performed after reconstruction depending on the type of surgery you have undergone:
- If you have undergone breast-conserving surgery, you may need to go for routine mammograms of the treated breast.
- If you have had a bilateral mastectomy, you do not need to undergo routine mammograms.
- If mastectomy is performed on only one breast, it is essential to get a mammogram of the untreated breast because women with breast cancer on one side are more likely to develop cancer on the other.
- If you have healthy breasts or had undergone a lumpectomy, it is recommended to get routine annual mammograms.
- Always stay in touch with your plastic surgeon to evaluate the condition of your breast implants.
Top Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines for Women Related Articles
Breast cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary gland. Breast cancer is detected via mammograms, breast self-examination (BSE), biopsy, and specialized testing on breast cancer tissue. Treatment of breast cancer may involve surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Breast cancer risk may be lowered by managing controllable risk factors.
What you should know about breast cancer
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.
- One in every eight women in the United States develops breast cancer.
- There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading (metastasize) to other body tissues.
- The causes of breast cancer are unknown, although medical professionals have identified a number of risk factors.
- There are 11 common types of breast cancer and 4 uncommon types of breast cancer.
- Breast cancer early signs and symptoms include
- a lump in the breast or armpit,
- bloody nipple discharge,
- inverted nipple,
- orange-peel texture or dimpling of the breast's skin (peau d'orange),
- breast pain or sore nipple,
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, and
- a change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.
- Breast cancer can also be symptom free, which makes following national screening recommendations an important practice.
- Breast cancer is diagnosed during a physical exam, by a self-exam of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy.
- Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (0-IV) and may involve surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
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Can Mammograms Detect Cancer?Mammograms can detect a lump or an abnormal growth in the breast that may indicate breast cancer. However, if breast tissue is dense, a small tumor may be missed.
How Do They Do a Mammogram When You Have Implants?Technicians perform implant displacement views and three-dimensional imaging mammograms for women with breast implants. Check out the center below for more medical references on mammograms, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
Is a Breast Ultrasound or Mammogram Better?The breast cancer diagnostic test best suited to you depends on your age, your symptoms, and the structure of your breasts. As a rule of thumb, a breast ultrasound is more accurate in women younger than 45 years. A mammography is preferred in women older than 45 years.
Is MRI Better Than Mammogram?According to studies, breast cancer screening using MRI two times a year is considered better than one mammogram per year.
MammogramMammogram is a test that produces an image of the breast tissue on film. The technique is referred to as mammography. Mammography can visualize normal and abnormal structures within the breast such as cysts, calcifications, and tumors looking for breast cancer. The first baseline mammogram for a woman should be between the ages of 35 to 40.
What Age Should a Woman Get a Mammogram?Regular mammography (X-ray breast imaging) helps in detecting breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before a breast lump is noticeable in self-exam. Women should start getting a mammogram every year at age 45, assuming they have no risk factors that would require earlier screening, but may dial back to every couple years after 55 when the peak statistical risk of breast cancer has passed.
What Percentage of Abnormal Mammograms Are Cancer?Being called back for a second mammogram and ultrasound is no need to panic. Only 0.5% of women with abnormal mammograms are found to have breast cancer.